This year, on the first day of school I was asked to chaperone the 9th grade trip to Valle Aurina. Apparently they were short a few chaperones and since when I'm gone a sub is not required it is easier to miss me than some other teachers on staff.
The 9th grade trip is a week of challenging outdoor adventure activities in northeastern Italy, near the Austrian border.
We spent 4 nights in this area of Italy. It was the most physically challenging week I have had in longer than I can remember.
|View from our hotel for the week|
Our first evening was spent at an adventure park, testing out various levels of high ropes courses around the park. Most of the kids were like little monkeys, just climbing and leaping from one obstacle to the next. This was a first for me, so I tried the easy course as required and then moved on to a medium leveled course. The first obstacle was a climbing wall and then there were eight other obstacles before finishing on a zip line. I would like to try one of these courses again with some friends at the same time. By the time I made my way up all the students had moved on to other courses and it wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. Once I was back on solid ground I worked on taking some pictures of our students flying through the air.
|Gettin' ready for the ropes!|
|Holding on for dear life!|
The 2nd day we woke before the sun and headed to a nearby mountain for a day of hiking. The views were incredible and worth the early wake up call. The day of hiking had its ups and downs, both literally and figuratively, as I spent my time with a student having challenges with the physical demands of the hike. But the scenery was incredible and an awesome way to spend a day.
|On the way down|
The next day we hiked up to a castle for a tour and an opportunity to repel from the castle tower. According to our guides, this is the only castle tower in the world you can repel from since it was once rebuilt and is stable. The tower is 40 m tall and we had to crawl out a window to repel down. I was not sure about doing this but knew I'd never have an opportunity like this again. Something tells me Richard Zimmer would not approve of this activity!! (Love you Dad!) Once I was finished, I was able to persuade three other girls to tackle the challenge.
|I can't believe I did this!|
|Tallest tower, top right window...that's where we repelled from...craziness!|
Listen carefully...and you'll know for sure I was with teenagers!
Our last full day was split into mountain biking and rock climbing. I rode with a group in the morning on the "easy" trail. We rode to a waterfall and through some nearby countryside. It was a pleasant morning, despite the students' minimal bike riding knowledge (apparently) and one fall around a tight corner! That afternoon, we were taught how to make the proper knot for rock climbing and how to belay for each other while climbing. I attempted to scale the rocky cliff two different times and made it higher the second time around. It was so difficult to find places for your feet and hands and in the end this was my downfall. Maybe next year I can try again...
|Made it a little higher...|
It was an incredible week and I was thoroughly exhausted. The kids were really well behaved overall and I was so proud to be representing ASM with them. And I'd happily do it all over again if given the chance!
Have you done any of these crazy activities before? Or which ones would you want to try?